Friday, January 8, 2016

Merry Christmas ... very late

I can't believe the first week of January is already over, and I haven't even posted Christmas pictures. And if I can tell you a secret, both my trees and all the other decorations are still up. We unplugged our outside lights, but they're still up, too.

Guess what we'll be doing this weekend?

Our Christmas was a little different this year. Jeff's parents are usually with his brother and his family on Christmas, but this year, they were with us.

That caused a conundrum about Christmas morning.

Biscuit's bedroom is directly above mine and Jeff's, so when he wakes up on Christmas morning, he stomps on the floor, and we get up and go to the living room to see if Santa came.

With Grandma and Grandpa here, Biscuit was sleeping in the spare bedroom (which used to be his nursery). And if he walked out the door of that bedroom, he could look over the banister right down into the living room.

The thing I love best about Christmas morning is the look on Biscuit's face when he realizes that Santa has visited. So I didn't want him sneaking a peek.

Quick thinker that I am, I said to Biscuit a few days before Christmas, "Hey! I have an idea. What if you have a sleepover in mine and Dad's room on Christmas Eve? We could make a pallet and bring down your sleeping bag and pillow."

"Ooo, Mom, that sounds like fun," Biscuit said.

We put out the cookies and milk for Santa, and Biscuit said, "I'll be right back."

He ran upstairs and came back down with a toy.

"What's that for?" I asked him.

"Well, I'm leaving cookies and milk for Santa, but I also wanted to leave a toy for him," Biscuit said.

"You think Santa will enjoy playing with that?" I asked.

"No, Mom," he said with much attitude. "Santa can take it to another kid who doesn't have a toy."

How sweet is that?!

Well, wait before you go nominating him for the Sweet Kid Award. I pulled the arm on the toy, and instead of the talking you usually hear, his speech was kind of garbled.

"Are you leaving a broken toy for Santa to take to another kid?" I asked Biscuit.

"It's not really broken, Mom," Biscuit explained. "The batteries are almost dead. But I'm thinking that the elves already have batteries at the North Pole. So they can just put in new batteries, and it will be as good as new."

Is this one of those thought-that-counts kind of things?!

Anyway, we fixed up his sleeping spot, and after I tucked him in, I read him the Christmas story. And y'all, when I got to the part where it said, "and they laid him in the manger," my son started very quietly singing "Away In a Manger." Holey-moly! I almost lost it! It was one of the sweetest things I've ever heard.

Biscuit went to sleep right away and didn't move the whole night.

When he woke up Christmas morning, we ran out to the living room to see if Santa came, and I was overjoyed that the first thing he grabbed was a book! And he had some other stuff that I figured he would think was way cooler.

Biscuit gets a new pair of pajamas every year before Christmas.
Of course, even though he looks like Santa, he's still wearing them!

A book! The first thing he grabbed was a book!

Uh-oh! Someone got coal in his stocking.
Except that it turned out to be chocolate.

Biscuit opened presents from Jeff's parents. Then we opened presents to and from each other. I cooked a big lunch, and we just relaxed for the day. It was nice to not have anywhere to go or be.

We got up Saturday morning and drove to my parents' house, where Biscuit got even more presents. We had Christmas dinner with my family Saturday evening. The kids played, and it was very low-key.

Presents at Grandmama and Papa's.

Hmmm. I wonder what this one could be.

Saturday afternoon, my brother called and said that one of his goats had just had a baby. Since he lives only about 5 minutes from my parents, we jumped in the car to go see the new little one. So cute! It was only about 30 minutes old when we got there, and it was already toddling around.

Doesn't its cuteness make you want to talk in a baby voice?
I had to laugh at Domino - for two reasons. 1. He's a white horse,
but it had been raining a lot, and he had clearly found a mudhole
to play in. And 2. He just stood at the pen and stared at the mama
and baby goats. It was like he had never seen such a
thing. He was there for the longest time, just watching.

Then Sunday morning, we had a surprise in store for Grandmama and Papa. I used to be the pianist at the church my parent still go to. So I called the music director and asked her if Biscuit could play a song during the prelude before the Sunday service. She said it would be fine and that I should just go ahead and plan to play the rest of the prelude. It's only about 10 minutes or so, but that's a long time when you haven't played in public for 19 years!

I played a couple of Christmas songs, then Biscuit played "Away in the Manger" two times by himself. Biscuit's book has a teacher accompaniment for the songs, so I played "Away in the Manger" with him. The cue for stopping the prelude is when the choir members open the side doors to the choir loft. So when the doors opened, we finished the song and stopped.

I looked up and one of the choir members twirled his hand around and mouthed, "Keep playing." The choir had come to the doors early to hear us play. It was very sweet, but it also made me even more nervous. But the thing I like about going there is that most of those people have known me since I was a kid, and there's never any formalities to us seeing each other again. It's like we can start our conversations already in progress.

Grandmama almost ruined our plan. She decided not to go to Sunday school, which meant she would be riding with me, Jeff and Biscuit. Well that wouldn't do. If she was riding with us, she would notice immediately when Biscuit and I walked to the front of the church. And it was supposed to be a surprise.

So I told a white lie and said Biscuit and I needed to run an errand and that we'd meet her and Jeff at church. It worked, and when she walked in, she started crying. Or as my people say, "She set to squalling."

She fussed at us for making her cry, then she told us how much she enjoyed our surprise. Tons of people at church made a fuss, and I'm glad Biscuit got to experience it. His piano teacher is the one who suggested the idea. He told Biscuit that sharing his musical talents with other people is a great way to make people feel good. And that was very appealing to my boy.

We headed home that evening, and Biscuit was asleep not too long into our trip.

It was rough heading in to work the next morning, but I knew that I needed to get a bunch of stuff done so we could take Jeff's parents to the beach for New Year's.

More about that, and pictures, of course, to come.

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